JOHANNESBURG – Port Elizabeth-based affordable housing construction company, Moladi, has made significant inroads globally after being repeatedly snubbed allegedly by a slew of former South African housing ministers.
CEO Hennie Botes started the company in 1986 but only started lobbying government around 2000 with an alternative to traditional building methods to address both massive housing backlogs while creating employment and promoting skills development.
The Moladi method or technology comprises using sustainable, recyclable materials to create re-usable plastic moulds which ultimately form cement walls or the top structure of a fully-fledged home. All materials used in the construction of a Moladi home, barring the plastic formwork, are sourced from within communities. This includes the workforce that is trained in the erection of these structures.
Botes maintains all internal and external walls of a house can be erected within a day.
To view the process of building such a home click on this link.
Moladi also operates in Mexico and Panama and, according to Botes, was recently recognised for its efforts in Haiti after using debris from a massive earthquake there in 2010 to demonstrate the viability of recycling materials to build homes.
The company is also active in Tanzania, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Angola and Mozambique. Botes says negotiations are currently at an advanced stage to address the housing backlog in India with a population of over a billion.
Locally, Moladi is involved in two private developments in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and in Table View, Cape Town.
Botes says until about a month ago, all previous efforts to introduce a holistic approach to delivery, including skills development to government had been met with “apathy.”
He echoes the cries of Redefine Properties CEO, Marc Wainer, who recently condemned corruption in dealings with government, saying he would no longer support municipalities and local authorities demanding kickbacks in return for business.
“Government does not have the capability to deliver. That’s why we have R58bn of booboos to fix,” Botes charges.
He cites as an example the suspension of the chief executive of the National Home Builders Registration Council, Sipho Mashinini, who has been found guilty of financial misconduct. “The industry has been exploited by people that do not have the best interests of the people at heart, only their pockets,” Botes adds.
He also relates an example of a disabled woman who had approached him for assistance after being awarded a tender to build 20 000 houses. “She qualified for the tender in terms of points but did not have the capacity to deliver.”
In another instance Botes says he waited almost a year for payment of over R200 000 for replacing defective houses upon the request of a former MEC, adding small contractors and suppliers of goods and services cannot afford to wait that long.
Botes says he has met with senior government officials across the provinces with regard to providing affordable housing throughout the years, but has had no response.
Another loophole in the system, he adds, is a lack of communication between provincial and national government. Botes suspects that the authorities at national level are not been informed by their provincial counterparts of attempts at addressing the massive backlog in housing, schools, clinics etc, especially in poor communities.
He adds that this has improved in the past month or so with officials from Minister Tokyo Sexwale’s Human Settlements department approaching him about possible ways of rolling out housing projects.
The housing backlog currently stands at around one million with Sexwale saying government alone cannot tackle this issue.
The department of human settlements could not immediately be reached for comment.